Clinton casts Trump as dangerous clown in caustic speech on foreign policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lambasted Donald Trump’s foreign policy platform as “dangerously incoherent” in a speech on Thursday that cast her Republican rival as both a frightening and laughable figure.

Scientists propose project to build synthetic human genome

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of 25 scientists on Thursday proposed an ambitious project to create a synthetic human genome, or genetic blueprint, in an endeavor that is bound to raise concerns over the extent to which human life can or should be engineered.

National Energy Board grants Imperial Oil more time to build Mackenzie Gas Project

CALGARY — The National Energy Board is giving Imperial Oil until the end of 2022 to start building the long-delayed Mackenzie Gas Project, a pipeline that would ship natural gas from the Northwest Territories to northern Alberta.

The board originally approved the project in December 2010 and the federal cabinet of then-prime minister Stephen Harper sanctioned it the next year.

But one of the conditions was that construction had to start by the end of 2015.

Last year, Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) asked the board for a seven-year extension on that deadline because low gas prices had forced the companies behind the project to delay development.

In granting approval of the extension, the board said the project was still in the public interest.

The decision now goes to the federal cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for final approval.

The natural gas market has been transformed since proponents first filed for regulatory approval more than a decade ago, with shale formations in Canada and the United States providing a closer, cheaper and more abundant source of natural gas.

Premier Bob McLeod of the Northwest Territories has been a supporter of the project, saying it would bring prosperity to the North, but some groups have opposed it on environmental grounds.

The proposed $16.1 billion pipeline would run 1,200 kilometres from gas fields near the coast of the Beaufort Sea to the northern Alberta boundary, where it would link up with existing gas pipelines.

Canadian visitors to Europe could require visas as of July 12 if dispute isn’t resolved

Canadians planning a trip to the European Union this summer may be required to get a visa if a dispute over the way Canada treats some EU citizens isn’t resolved by then.

Visas are generally used to control the flow of people into a country and to prevent unwanted visitors, and Canada exempts dozens of countries from its visa requirements, including most EU member states.

However, Canada still requires nationals from Bulgaria and Romania — both EU members — to obtain visas before they travel here, resulting in a simmering dispute that threatens to boil over just as the summer travel season kicks into high gear.

In 2014, a reciprocity clause was included in the EU’s Schengen legislation, which allows EU members to function as a single country for international travel purposes. This clause states that visa-free access to EU countries can only be granted to citizens of a third country if that third country offers visa-free access to all EU citizens in return.

This has become a sticking point with Canada as well as the United States, which requires visas for nationals from Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus and Poland.

Under EU rules, if full reciprocity isn’t granted within 24 months then the visa waiver for citizens of non-compliant countries can be suspended. This could happen for Canadian and U.S. visitors on July 12 if an agreement isn’t reached by then. (The policy wouldn’t apply to the U.K. or Ireland.)

On Thursday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents the world’s airlines, urged the Canadian, U.S. and EU governments to quickly resolve the “looming crisis.”

“Nobody wants to risk the economic consequences of introducing new requirements for travellers from Canada and the U.S. to Europe,” Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s regional vice-president for Europe, said in a statement.

“We are calling on the EU institutions to agree upon a proportionate approach, in cooperation with their U.S. and Canadian counterparts.”

According to the European Travel Commission, more than 30 million tourists from Canada and the U.S. visit Europe each year, spending more than US$54 billion.

A spokesman for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said the country is “committed to working towards visa-free travel for all EU citizens,” and is making the visa application process easier for Romanian and Bulgarian business travellers and those who have visited Canada in the past 10 years.

“Canadian officials in Ottawa and Brussels have and continue to be heavily engaged in a very positive, ongoing dialogue with Romania, Bulgaria and the European Commission on this issue,” department spokesman Remi Larivière said in an email.

Air Canada did not immediately reply to a request for comment on how EU visa requirements could impact travel demand.

The European Commission has asked the European Parliament and Council to share their views on what should be done by July 12 at the latest.

“Full visa reciprocity will stay high on the agenda of our bilateral relations with these countries, and we will continue pursuing a balanced and fair outcome,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, Europe’s commissioner of home affairs, migration and citizenship.

UK should stop ‘sitting back’ in EU, says Jeroen Dijsselbloem

Dutch finance minister and Eurogroup president wants UK to play a stronger role if Brexit is rejected on 23 June

One of the eurozone’s most senior figures has called on Britain to lead in Europe and go beyond defending the interests of the City of London.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and president of the Eurogroup, wants the UK to play a stronger role to make the European Union a success if Britain votes to stay in the 23 June referendum.

Related: Angela Merkel says she hopes Britain will remain in the EU

Related: EU referendum: Find out how much you really know

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Tasmanian devil returns to San Diego Zoo after pacemaker surgery

(Reuters) – A Tasmanian devil named Nick is back in his exhibit area at the San Diego Zoo after receiving a pacemaker to make his heartbeat normal.

Cinar co-founder Ronald Weinberg, two others found guilty of fraud after lengthy trial

The jury that heard evidence in one of the longest criminal trials in Canadian history reached a verdict on Thursday.

All three of the men who were on trial on fraud and related charges involving the animation company Cinar — company co-founder Ronald Weinberg, 64, and two investment executives he dealt with, Lino Matteo, 54, of Montreal, and John Xanthoudakis, 57, a resident of the St-Laurent borough — were found guilty of some of the charges they faced at the Montreal courthouse.

“We are extremely pleased,” said Matthew Ferguson, the main prosecutor in the case. “It goes to show that in serious fraud cases that last this long, the jury can work through the evidence and understand the evidence. They understood the evidence (based on) the verdicts that they rendered.”

The jury reached its verdict remarkably fast considering it began hearing evidence in 2014. One juror actually asked to be excused from the panel shortly after deliberations began, but was persuaded to remain after seeing a doctor.

“They seemed to be following the trial and understanding the evidence throughout,” Ferguson said. “For me, it goes to show that despite the enormous sacrifice these jurors made in their personal lives, they still saw through all the smoke and the mirrors.”

The evidence phase of the case closed on March 22. That was followed by closing arguments and the judge’s instructions to the jury.

The trial involved the transfer of more than $120 million funds from Cinar to secret accounts in another country.

Weinberg was found guilty on nine of the 16 charges he faced, including two counts of fraud against Cinar and one against the public in general and one count of issuing a false prospectus.

Xanthoudakis was found guilty of all of the 17 charges he faced, including the $120-million fraud against Cinar, for which all of the accused were convicted.

Matteo was found guilty of nine counts in all. He was acquitted on two forgery charges.   

All three of the men were not detained during their trial, but Judge Pierre Labrie ordered that they be incarcerated immediately. Based on recent jurisprudence, most accused are allowed to remain free while they await their sentence, but Labrie ordered the trio detained because, he determined, they represent a potential flight risk. Both Xanthoudakis and Weinberg were allowed to travel outside of Canada during the trial.

A fourth man charged in the same case, Hasanain Panju, was sentenced to a 4-year prison term in 2014. He testified at one point in the jury trial.

Euro slips on ECB’s cautious view, oil reverses losses

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The euro declined on Thursday on the European Central Bank’s cautious economic outlook, while oil prices recovered on a drop in U.S. crude inventories, erasing losses on OPEC’s failure to reach a deal to set an output ceiling.